Sandhill Crane Courtship Dance

When you live in central Florida, you have a first row seat to some of the most amazing nature shows. One of my favorites is the highly entertaining mating dance of the sandhill crane, or what I refer to as the “Sandhill Crane Courtship Dance”. The birds often provide their own music (insert loud squawking noises) and the moves include ducking, bowing, jumping, running and some impressive outstretched wing movements. All of their choreography has a fluid, graceful quality that brings to mind Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and led me to name these two lovebirds, Fred and Ginger. The larger crane, I’m assuming is the male, has a distinct marking on its eye (shown in the last picture in this blog). Since sandhills mate for life, this is a love story worth celebrating.

To see all my sandhill crane photos, for sale on Fine Art America and Pixels, HERE.

The Entertainer Sandhill Crane.jpg

I’ve created a slideshow of the latest sandhill dance. To see it, click HERE.

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Sandhill 15

My nature photos are available on greeting cards, home decor products and art prints. To see all of my artwork, check out my website: Carol Groenen Photography 

Proud Sandhill

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Richland Sandhill Cranes

So many Sandhills

Sandhill Cranes are highly entertaining birds.  They are sociable, noisy and have a bit of an attitude, which is exactly why I like photographing them. Recently, hundreds of migrating sandhills dropped into a field near Richland, Washington, and I was lucky enough to be there to observe them (thanks to my birding friend, Lynn, for the tip-off).  Oh, it seemed as if they had found the perfect location: a recently harvested farmer’s field with plenty of yummy grain, a lovely shallow pond for resting and all of this tucked into a secluded area, far from busy roads and people.  On this day, chaos abounded as birds flew in left and right, some were landing gracefully, others not so much.  Most meandered around the pond and fields with a sort of lackadaisical, no-rush rhythm. You wouldn’t have guessed they still had places to go and more migrating to do.  There was so much to see, over such a large area that at first I wasn’t sure where to focus.  But after a while, I honed in on a gang of “tough guys” – the ones making the most raucous.  I thought to myself, this is where the real story is – ruffians trying to make their way in the world.  It was just like a scene out of West Side Story and it was simply amazing to watch. Their songs weren’t accompanied by clicking fingers, and frankly weren’t all that melodious, but the drama was the same.  Their songs were more racket and cacophony.  Still, music to my ears.

Check out my YouTube Video: Richland Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Tough Guys

Check out my photos on Pixels.com:  Sandhill Cranes Collection

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Congregating Sandhill Cranes bSandhill Cranes Quartet

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Check out the calls of the Sandhill Cranes in my video: Noisy, Flying Sandhill Cranes

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